Hello, Im new to the TB forums and new to playing bass as well ..although calling it playing at this point is pretty generous. Im 31, which I know is kinda old to start playing, but they say youre never too old to learn something new. I've always been interested in the bass, even when I was younger listening to all those great 80s rock bands like Winger, Trixter, and Keel (stop laughing), my friends would always play air-guitar while I sat around always trying to pick out the bass lines. I was surfing the web one afternoon, looking for some bass gear reviews, and was lucky enough to stumble on this forum. What a great resource all you experienced players are! As the resident newbie I promise to make every effort to use the search function, to post topics in the correct forums, and to completely avoid any thread with the word Behringer in the subject line . Anyway, for the past month, Ive been renting an old Samick 4-string bass and a Crate combo amp both made sometime in the late 80s by the looks of them - in fact Im pretty sure the Samick was once played by Bon Jovis old bass player. Ive really enjoyed starting out on the bass, but the Samick feels really awkward and difficult to play, and Im not that crazy about the Crate combo either. So Ive decided to invest in my own equipment. I had decided to go with a standard P-Bass because I figured it would be a good starter bass, and I really dig the tone and feel. Since it will be my first bass and amp purchase, I had set my budget for both of them together at around $300 or so. I was leaning toward trying to find a good new MIM Fender P, but they get a bit pricey at around $300-$400 (at least pricey for my budget), which also would have left me with very little or no money left over for a practice amp. After reading some reviews on this forum, I stumbled onto the posts about the Essex (or SX) basses. After doing quite a bit of research, it seems that most people seem to find these basses to be a very good value, and somewhat similar in quality to the MIM Fenders. I really would have preferred to be able to play one first (not that I would really know what to look for anyway), but I decided to jump on it, take a chance, and place an order. I figured that the bass was priced well enough so that even after the cost of the bass + shipping, Id still have a enough left over to buy a good practice amp (maybe like the Peavey Microbass .sorry, I know that goes in another forum ). I went with the model SPB-57 TM. I paid the extra $10 for the photo flame top even because I really loved the look as soon as I saw it. My main question is, do you guys think I made a wise decision for my first purchase? Its not too late to cancel my order, so Im trying to find out if theres anybody out there dying to scream at me NO STOP NOT THAT ONE!. I guess Im just looking for a little reassurance. Anyway, Im sorry for the post being such a long one. I look forward to any feedback, good or bad. I also look forward to being a part of this great community. Thanks! Sully BTW, somebody in an earlier post mentioned newbies having to sacrifice carrots to the moderators...does that, like have to be done at midnight or something? Does it require a full moon too or is partial okay? Just looking for clarification.